COMIC REVIEW: Epic Kill #8

epickill8I imagine there are only so many variations on the theme of the superhero, just as there are only so many variations on plot. Epic Kill is a mixture of themes and ideas; super assassin, reluctant anti-hero, martial artist, acrobat and weapons expert. But this is one I’ve not seen before, bare-foot heroine who can sense her foe through vibrations in the ground. Plus all of the above.

Song was originally seen in some kind of facility for women with mental health issues, back in issue #1. She had little memory of how she came to be there, although she recalled – as told in flash-back – being trained by a wizened mentor. It soon became clear she had exceptional abilities as she fought her way out of the facility, with deadly effect. Issue #8 sees Song being congratulated by an unknown agent for previous work and assigning her a new job. All very seen-it-before. She protests that all she wants is her uncle. So, this is under duress. She takes the job anyway, as a super-villain called Blood Red attempts to blow up a passenger plane. What follows is a slight subversion of the typical scenario as our heroine is told things aren’t what they seem, especially regarding the president (with whom she has had a previous interest). Then there’s a cool fight scene.

Song is an interesting character. A killer with morals; she has a line that won’t be crossed. She has a mysterious back-story and a genuine motivation. It will be interesting to see how she develops, especially if she is not under duress (if she gets uncle back, what then for someone with her superpowers?).

Epic Kill is created, written and drawn by Raffaele Ienco, who is clearly very talented. The dialogue is witty with the occasional cultural reference, and some nice referencing to Song’s bare feet. The talking is used sparsely and the panels aren’t full of exposition. Ienco lets the story roll. The plot intrigues. It has the feel of that seen-it-all-before, but there are hints of something slightly unusual (which may or may not turn out to be just another government conspiracy). Characters are interestingly written, although there design is nothing new. Indeed, Song wears the yellow outfit made famous by Uma Thurman in the Kill Bill films. She is of Asian descent with troublingly large boobs. Not needed and gratuitously detracting. Which is a shame because the art is decent, bordering on very good. The use of colours and shadows gives it a cinematic feel. The occasional full-page panels look awesome.

Issue #8 also features a nice little comic-writing column at the end, which is by Yannick Morin, editor for Image. Always nice to have these little bonus features.

Epic Kill is typical of Image’s cool canon. Slightly off-beat with the usual expectations, yet familiar enough to drawn in general comic-book fans. Song is an intriguing heroine with an interesting future, I’m sure.

Rating: 3.5/5
Reporter: Ian J Simpson

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  1. Thank you for the nice review, Ian! Epic Kill #9 is in stores tomorrow (March 6 -2013) and the series finale is issue 10.

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